Despite recent changes at Yahoo! By the hands of CEO Marissa Mayer requiring remote workers to come in house or leave, and further comments by Vogue Head Alexandra Shulman, flexible working can be successful, and if you’re a manager who is managing someone who doesn’t work in the office all the time, or at all, it isn’t always easy and it requires advance planning.
Here are some tips to make it as successful as possible:
Set realistic goals
If you define the goals that you expect from your reportee and agree them from the outset, you’ll both be able to track their progress and address any concerns based on those goals.
It’s can be done on a project-by-project basis,mor you can give an area of responsibility that your remote worker is solely responsible for.
Communication is key
Sometimes email can be a little ambiguous – try to pick up the phone and have a quick chat about the issue or work, so that you are both clear. While email can be great for confirming agreed pieces of work, sometimes, if there is an issue it can cause unnecessary friction as it is open to some amount of interpretation.
Email can also be a little long-winded…sending five lengthy conversational emails is much more time consuming that calling your colleague and checking something in a couple of minutes.
Use modern technology
When you have meetings that your remote employee can’t attend,muse Skype or a web conferencing service, so they don’t feel left out.
Try project management tools to bring the work of the whole team together – our favourites are Teambox and Basecamp. It will also help you track progress and keep all communication about a project in one place.
Just because someone works from home doesn’t mean they don’t need some flexibility, too. Don’t be a dragon who resents a home worker because you feel they are just sitting at home in their pyjamas skiving half or all day long. With clearly defined targets, you’ll soon get to see that many homeworkers actually out in a lot more time and effort into their working day because they want to break this often unfair stereotype.